If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, it’s natural to have questions about what this diagnosis means for your health. You may be wondering if you will need to rely on pain management medication or if you will no longer be able to live an active lifestyle. The good news is that chiropractic care is an effective treatment option for addressing peripheral neuropathy pain. Below, our chiropractor answers five of the most frequently asked questions from our Harrisburg, Hershey, Progress, Colonial Park, Lower Paxton, and Grantville, PA patients about the causes for peripheral neuropathy, your different treatment options and what to expect from treatment.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a medical term describing various injuries and diseases of the nervous system. If you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, this means that one or more of your nerves are damaged and unable to properly send and receive signals from the brain. A disease, like diabetes, a repetitive motion injury, or a sudden injury, may cause peripheral neuropathy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a common peripheral neuropathy condition.
What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
Common symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of feeling. Keep in mind that these symptoms can vary slightly between each patient as everyone experiences peripheral neuropathy symptoms differently depending on the extent of nerve damage. In general, the onset of these symptoms is gradual. Over time, the tingling or numbness you experience in your hands or feet may spread to the legs and arms and give way to a jabbing or burning pain. If motor nerves are affected, you may also experience muscle weakness or paralysis.
What are the treatment options for peripheral neuropathy?
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the cause. For example, tight or inflamed muscles can compress nerves and trigger irritation. Massage therapy will improve blood flow through the body and support chiropractic adjustments, reducing overall pain and stress. Misaligned joints in the extremities and back can also affect the signals sent from the nerves to the brain. Correcting these misalignments reduces interference that can aggravate peripheral neuropathy. Finally, if peripheral neuropathy is caused by a nutrition deficiency or a chronic ailment, our chiropractor will recommend treatment that includes improved nutrition to support natural healing from within.
Can physical therapy help treat peripheral neuropathy?
For many patients, physical therapy is a natural complement to chiropractic adjustments when it comes to treating peripheral neuropathy. The goal of these physical therapy treatments is two-fold: increase your range of motion through progressive stretching and strengthen the muscles with isometric exercises and resistance weights. Depending on the severity of your peripheral neuropathy, physical therapy may help to restore mobility, strength and balance to the body. Any exercise program will be tailored to your specific needs.
What if I have more questions about peripheral neuropathy treatment?
We invite you to schedule a diagnostic exam and informational session with our Dr. Skocik by contacting our office at (717) 540-8448. This is an opportunity to learn more about which treatment options are right for you.